While 'Dynasty' found Kiss dipping their toe into less threatening sounds, the band's 1980 follow-up 'Unmasked' is a flat-out bubblegum pop-rock.
It can also be one heck of a guilty pleasure, if you forget what the band who made it is supposed to sound like. Gene Simmons gets a much better handle on this new direction than he had on 'Dynasty,' acquitting himself well on the catchy if silly 'She's So European' and the dramatic 'Naked City.'
Paul Stanley delivers some flat-out pop gems with the tender ballad 'Shandi' (a huge hit in Australia), lead track 'Is That You?,' the lovey-dovey 'What Makes the World Go 'Round' and the supremely infectious and optimistic 'Tomorrow.'
Still, it might be Ace Frehley who comes off best, seemingly impervious to the trends around him as he knocks out three charming, slightly rough-edged numbers including 'Two Sides of the Coin' and the hysterical and vastly underrated 'Torpedo Girl.' "Oooooo, waaah-oooooo / Let's take a ride..."
OK so by now, one, you're probably laughing at us about our love of this record -- we can take it -- and two, you probably know how we're going to vote. How about you?